Over the past several weeks, I've been asked to answer a number of questions from stores and publications about everything from my line of jewelry to my personal life. Usually, they want to know more about my collection - about me - to explore my world of jewelry. Many of the questions really made me stop and think. Some of the questions help paint a portrait of who I am as a person as much as who I am as a designer, and I thought that the answers might be fun for you to read. This particular questionnaire if from Marissa Collections, a designer boutique in Naples, Florida.
• What originally inspired you to design jewelry?
I began designing jewelry for myself. I wanted something that fit my sense of style and couldn't find what I was looking for on the market. So, I started seeking out resources and materials to create pieces that were funky and gorgeous. Friends would comment on my jewelry and eventually began asking me to design pieces for them. That's how Jordan Alexander began.
• What is the biggest milestone or proudest moment in your career so far?
There have been several major milestones in the last year-and-a-half. But, I think the thing that stands out most was delivering my first full collection to the Fragments Designer Showroom in New York in January 2011. That was my first true sense of accomplishment in this business. Designing and creating my very first collection and premiering it to rave reviews was a priceless experience for me.
• Where is your favorite place in the world and why?
I can't truthfully answer this with just one place. I love different places for different reasons. To vacation, I love St. Bart's! To me, it's the most beautiful place on Earth. To live and work, it's Los Angeles. The lifestyle, the freedom, and the ever-present style inspire me like no other place I've been. If my appetite's in control, I'd have to say Italy. But, for family, grounded-ness and community, I love my home - Birmingham, AL.
• What personal piece of jewelry is most special to you?
The very first necklace I designed for myself was a 42-inch, thread-wrapped, baroque peach pearl necklace with a huge, funky diamond nugget. If I were a necklace, I would be that necklace. Recently, a very dear friend fell in love with it so I decided to part with it and share it with her. I've tried, but that necklace can never be exactly replicated. There's just something special about it. I'll always remember it as my first and favorite piece of jewelry, and I will smile every time I think of someone else loving it as much as I do.
• What is your idea of perfect happiness?
It may sound cliché, but my life, just as it is, is perfect happiness. I'm in love with my best friend. I have 2 amazing sons. I live to work. And, I make the most of every moment. I'm perfectly happy.
• What is your favorite journey?
Several years ago, I had the amazing opportunity to serve as an ambassador to India for a nation-wide women's organization. I spent a month visiting the most remote parts of the country, meeting women and families who live in a world I had never seen, shared meals in their homes, met with dignitaries to lobby for human rights, and was forever changed by the experience. It wasn't just a physical journey to another part of the world. It was a self-explorative journey to another part of who I am. I wouldn't trade that experience for anything.
• Which talent would you most like to have?
So you think you can dance? I can't, but I sure wish I could! Growing up as a classically trained musician, I spent most of my life immersed in the performing arts. While music comes effortlessly to me, dance never has. Honestly, I would trade talents if I had my way.
• What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Without a doubt, raising two sons is my greatest achievement. My sons are very distinct and unique young men. They're scary smart and head-strong, while also tender and expressive. I see so much of myself in both of them and I'm both scared and delighted at the same time. I want nothing more than to see them live their dreams and I'll do everything I can to help along the way.
• What is your most treasured possession?
Photographs. If my house were on fire and I could only grab an armload of things to save, I'd grab as many photographs as possible. I cherish the ones from my childhood, as well as the ones of my sons and husband. To me, those captured memories are the only things that can't be replaced.
• Who are your heroes in real life?
To me, heroes aren't iconic, powerful, influential leaders. They're real, everyday people. So, my heroes are my husband, my children, my best friend, my mother and my sister. These are the people who have influenced my life more than anyone. They're the ones who I look up to - each for different reasons. I can't think of any better role models to emulate than my personal heroes.
• What is your motto?
To be as well known and respected for the way I treat people as I am for my designs.
• What is your favorite stone?
The pearl. I love working with baroque pearls in rich colors. I love the fact that they're not perfectly shaped or proportionate, and that they're all different and unique. I love the luster of the outside and the organic beauty of the inside. To me, they're like people.
Answering these questions and reflecting back on my heroes, my favorite memories, and the journeys I've taken in life make me realize how lucky I am to have such amazing inspiration for my work. My family, my experiences, and my goals are constant muses for the next step on my continual journey through design. Drawing from that inspiration is what drives my creative ability. After reading this, I hope that you have a better sense of who I am and where I'm coming from in my designs, my work, and in this blog.
Follow Theresa Bruno on Twitter: www.twitter.com/Designer, Jorda